Farming Groups Come Out Against TPP Withdrawal
Despite how contentious this previous presidential election was, one enduring truth remains: No candidate was going to make every voter happy all the time. Maybe not even most of the time. And now we’re starting to see of that discontent come out. This week, the Wall Street Journal reports that some farmers, a group that certainly has its share of Trump voters, are already voicing concern about one of the president’s first—pulling the US out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
According to an estimate from the non-profit American Farm Bureau Federation cited by the WSJ, the controversial TPP “would have added $4.4 billion annually to the U.S. agricultural sector, offering some relief to farmers during a multiyear slump in crop prices and farm profits.” And the Journal found plenty of members of the farming industry hoping to coax Trump into finding a way to make up for this supposed billion dollar shortfall.
“It is critical that the new administration begin work immediately to do all it can to develop new markets for U.S. agricultural goods,” American Farm Bureau Federation president Zippy Duvall was quoted as saying. Meanwhile, Richard Guebert, Jr, president of the Illinois Farm Bureau, went on record as calling Trump’s TPP withdrawal “another setback to an already struggling economy.” And American Soybean Association president Ron Moore put the president’s choice in even more pressing terms. “We expect to see a plan in place as soon as possible to engage the TPP partner nations and capture the value that we lose with the withdrawal today,” he was quoted as saying.
Of course, saying that all farmers are against TPP is about as one-sided as saying all Americans are excited about their new president. A 2015 article on Farm Aid’s website offers up plenty of opinions from farmers deriding the then-proposed trade agreement as a way to “undermine U.S. family farmers” or “nothing more than a global power grab by big-money corporations intent on feeding their bottom line.”
In the end, Trump’s TPP withdrawal will have ramifications. But as with much of what’s being proposed by the Trump administration, Americans are having trouble figuring out exactly what those ramifications will be.